Hi there, welcome to the week!
We've now filled the first of our Online Mentoring Circles, but we have a healthy waiting list, which means we'll be starting the second Circle within the next month or so. If you'd like to schedule a chat about joining, leave your details on the Mentoring Circles page below and we'll get a call in the diary.
Charaka Goonatilake, CTO at Panaseer said this about his Circle:
"A truly unique coaching experience – providing sorely needed support for technical leaders. It's a hugely effective concept to bring together individuals leading technical organisations together with a seasoned CTO to discuss problems and actionable solutions."
See you next week!
Mentoring Circles for CTOs - join a Community of Practice and accelerate your leadership development
Learn about how a Mentoring Circle can help you build leadership skills as a technologist; super-charge your leadership skills in a Community of Practice for CTOs and other Technology Leaders
Reads of the Week
Progress is grinding. Something’s not working. Ideas that shone like pristine snow in the board room just aren’t sticking where it matters. The envisaged winter wonderland isn’t materialising. It feels like every initiative, crystal clear at inception, melts in the harsh light of reality.
Nationwide Digital, the NDAP team, build a common platform for all digital journeys to develop on, it's a challenge with new CVEs being released daily for so many components as-well balancing the new feature demand from our customers.
Culture & People
Taking the time to understand what is important to you, and the future of your world is the easy part. The hard part? Implementation.
When some people think of the workplace of the future, they envision futuristic-style holograms having a meeting or robots cooking lunch for everyone in the office.
Every hiring manager knows that the process of finding a new team member can be both exhausting and rewarding.
None of us are immune to emotional ups and downs. However, it is important that emotions remain outside the office threshold and do not interfere with performance. Today, many talk about toxicity.
He was one of the longest-tenured members of the team and seemed content on the job. Little did I know he had a number of motivations for wanting to make a change that may have been avoidable. The competition for talent is always high, and especially now you can’t afford to lose a good employee.
This post is about the interview process for an engineering leader. Hiring involves a lot more than the interview part - everything from reviewing resumes, sourcing great candidates, getting them to come onsite, the interview itself, evaluation, offer, and close.
Leadership & Self-management
Bio: I started being interested in electronics (taking apart and building things) in the early 80s, got a Commodore C16 computer and then an Atari ST, building computer games in my spare time and also making early 8-bit computer music attempts.
When I first became a CTO of a startup, I was young and inexperienced. I was technically capable, had led multiple software projects and had a great track record on delivering software projects on time and within budget. But I really had very little idea about how startups work.
Saying that the last 18 months or so were stressful and full of changes would be a colossal understatement. Work wise I switched to a new team after over 4 years on the same team, which was then dismantled as part of a big structural reorg that was actually part 1 of 2.
I’ve written a bit on this blog about the highs and lows of my time in engineering management. I’m a team lead nowadays - less managing, more coding, but I still think long and hard about what leadership means and looks like in the tech industry.
In times of high stress, we want fast answers. As leaders we feel the pressure be decisive. But fast is not always best, and can sometimes lead us deeper into trouble. What we need is rapid deliberation.
Agile, Engineering & Product
Nope, not another Falsehoods post, but not entirely unlike one. Only here we have a few lessons in operations that we all (eventually) (have to) learn; often the hard way. Why things are the way they are, or what the lessons mean is left to the reader to interpret, agree, or disagree with.
Velocity. It is one of the most commonly used, abused, and misused metrics in Agile software development. Teams, their managers, and even their stakeholders often focus on “improving velocity” without considering the entire value delivery system.
Andy says: "Clickbait title, but worth a read!"
While the Agile era has brought about remarkable advancements in project management techniques and development tools, it remains a tactical, technical, and ultimately reactionary movement. As long as Agile remains in this position it will be liable to backfire, vulnerable to the very depredations of bad management it had initially evolved to counter.
Trust is important — trust us. In everyday life, we trust complete strangers to hold up their end of the deal, such as...
There is one product, one Product Owner, one Product Backlog — a simple rule.
Does it make any difference whether a presentation went quite good versus pretty good, or if an earnings report is described as awful versus poor? According to a new survey from YouGov, word sentiment isn’t as cut-and-dry as one would expect.
Wheels are the archetype of a primitive, caveman-level technology. But in fact, they're so ingenious that it took until 3500 B.C. for someone to invent them.
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Have an amazing week!